How to write (your desired text) if there is no time?

Reflections and drafts

Thoughts -> topic -> statements and plan -> writing -> revision.

I will tell you about each of these parts.

{1} Thoughts. You cannot fill an empty jug.

So one must be a thoughtful, intelligent, memory writer.

What exactly to remember - I won't tell you. It's not bad if all you remember are the plots of the Marvel movies. It's not bad if you only remember math school problems. It's not bad if…

A good writer is like a clam: consumes a lot of content, filters what he likes, remembers it. The more you can remember, the better.

Three parts:

  1. Must consume content. I won't tell you which form, because all forms are equal: books, series, conversations with friends, theater, meditation, other ways to find a new thought.
  2. You have to evaluate the content. Just using it is of little use if it doesn't change your thinking. So you must consume something that is new to you, knocks you out of your tracks, gives you something you have never experienced.
  3. Remember. I like to share my biggest discoveries with my friends - after hearing their opinions, I remember what I discovered better, it's easier to put my thoughts into context. But you can use any method of your own - even if you like to write in notebooks. It is important that you do not forget the unique idea you have discovered.

If you are writing a research paper, start with a Google search, books. Find parts that are interesting and workable. Mark it, save it for the future.

If you are writing a work of fiction, start with the works of the genre that interests you, observe what worlds, characters, and plots other authors have created. Mark what you like.

If you don't know what you want to write yet - just live, enjoy, communicate with as many different people as possible, listen to their observations about the world. Write down what interests you.

It is true that content will not be born from thoughts alone, so you need to…

{2} Subject. Writing requires passion.

What do you just have to say (to me, to them, to the audience)? What is the topic of your scientific work - what should you present and describe in your paper? What feeling, experience do you want to convey with your beautiful work?

What idea do you want to convey to someone else? 1

Some writers use their subject as a title. For example, detective author Agatha Christie used to describe the scene with the title: "Murder on the Eastern Express", "Murder on the Golf Course"...

I also like to start articles with the title. I usually call these texts in the form of a question, because I believe that the potential reader also has a question. I try not to use clickbait - to keep the topic short and clear.

A clear title is even more important for scientific works - the title describes the content.

Have you decided what you want to talk about? Then…

{3} Statements and Plan. How will you show up?

Writing, in essence, is no different from public speaking, performance or modern dance. It has all statements (chapters, theses) that stick together the plan (plot, evidence).

For statements:

Open your notebook, relax... And add a chaotic list of thoughts, parts you want to include in your piece.

Just. Without a plan. Everything that comes to mind.

I love the idea of adding on the little leaves. Sticky or non-sticky, there is no difference - I just limit myself to small sheets on which only a few words, a short sentence can fit. One sheet of paper - one main idea, a statement, which will probably require several paragraphs to be written later.

For example, this is how the planning of my book "The Sloth's Manifesto" looked like, when I was working in the VMU library:

Theses can also be written in a list format in a notebook on paper or on a computer.

You can even express your thoughts out loud - for example, tell a friend about the topic. You can even talk to yourself. For example, I like to talk to myself. 🙂 I can imagine the kind of reader I need.

Statements can also be written by SMS or Messenger messages. Currently, at the end of 2022, this way of planning (and writing) has become popular on Twitter.

Once you have pieces of content, you can put them into a plan.

For the plan:

It is best if you say what you are talking about at the beginning. This way the reader will know what to expect and you will arouse interest.

If you are writing a work of fiction, you can start with a scene where you introduce the main characters. Can even provide a character list and map! Or you can start with an action scene, which is so interesting how the character got into this situation, what will happen next...

If you are writing a scientific paper, your description (abstract) should also describe the essence of the discovery and presentation.

And the content should be clear and rich. Imagine that the reader of your work has not read anything like it. So - start with easier examples, easier action and continue deeper, harder.

Don't forget that readers don't like filler, extended meaningless content that leads nowhere. Aquarius is not saturated.

So if you're writing a work of fiction, you can probably throw out all kinds of wallpaper descriptions, as long as they don't evoke feelings for the characters and aren't meaningful to the reader. What does it matter what color a character's jacket was if that jacket never appears again! Yes, of course you can use red herrings, 2 but you can't cover the whole novel with herrings. Unless you write about fishermen. Joking. 🙂

If you write an online article - give advice, a technique, a method that can be used here and now. Then give me another one. Another one. Bombard the reader with enough advice to make their head spin.

In general: imagine that your plan is a skeleton. There is a common spine that holds the whole plot of the book, and branching out into ribs, themes, chapters.

This kind of visualization helps me. In the photo above, you can see that I have written the main chapters of the book on the pink pages - this is the skeleton of the book, and the statements - on the yellow pages. You too can do the same.

Have a statement and a plan?

{4} Writing. Fill in the blanks.

Statement/plot detail -> padding -> statement/plot detail…

Here are a few things I can recommend:

  1. Since you made a plan - it is not necessary to write everything in order. Take the detail you want to describe in this moment and start with it. I have read advice from writers, 3 that it is possible, it is worth writing even from the end. But it's easier to start with the climax and epilogue.
  2. Don't think you have to write the whole book in one go. Write that one part - about one statement, thesis, plot piece... And if you're tired - go rest. Come back later when you want.
  3. A routine is good, but not necessary. Unless you are a professional writer, it is not necessary to make a habit of writing at a specific time every day. But the routine is useful if you feel that at some point you just need to describe the next part.
  4. You will notice yours in time emotional inertia of space. What puts you in the mood to write? Time of day? Lighting? Sounds, smells, tastes? I recommend read this article by the architect. I've noticed that as soon as I drink my cappuccino, the words come to me immediately.
  5. Don't fix it, until you write everything. Yes, you can, if you really want to. But I don't recommend it, because plans unfortunately have a nasty habit of changing while writing. 🙂
  6. If you see that you are not getting it - change the topic, statements, plan. Not everything has to be born. If you feel like shit is coming, then start from the beginning. Believe me, it happens to all writers, even the most successful rewrite the work from scratch at least several times.

Speaking of fixes and rewrites…

{5} Correct. More precisely, read what you wrote and then correct it.

You must be your own worst critic.

  1. Read what you wrote. The whole piece, not in parts!
  2. Read it again, but loudly. The word sounds different in voice. Believe me, try it. If you don't believe it - try to read at least a paragraph of your "good" text - you will find places to correct.
  3. Throw away everything you don't need. Chapters, statements, examples that add nothing. Throw out the words too. The fewer words there are, the easier it will be to read. It won't be boring.
  4. Rewrite more simply. The clearer your words are, the easier it is to understand your work. The easier it is to understand, the more readers. Of course, you can't simplify it if it's the uniqueness of your work, 4 but you may find that most bestsellers are written in a way that anyone can understand.
  5. Add what is missing. Maybe you forgot to mention something? Something doesn't connect, is there a thought or plot jump?

Repeat the process until you reach "more or less the end" and see no more obvious errors.

Once you reach this stage, you can then show your work to others. For friends, supervisors, representatives of the publishing house. You still have a lot to fix, but the content probably won't change much anymore. Of course, you can not show it to anyone, trust only yourself, let it go to the audience right away, if you want.

If I missed something, forgot to describe it - tell me, I'll try to add it.

  1. First you used thoughts, now you share.

  2. To direct the reader's attention to some detail, where the reader will think that "This is an important thing!", and later in the action to reveal that it is just a funny coincidence, is absolutely useless.

  3. Sorry, I can't reproduce at this moment who exactly said that.

  4. There are genres where complex text is valued better - say legal documents. The more complex it is written, the less likely the user will try to defend his rights. This is perhaps what the text client will aim for.

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